My most memorable PHAP experience was participating in the Anne Arundel County Oral Rabies Vaccination Project to immunize thousands of raccoons against rabies. I was part of one of the helicopter teams that spent the morning distributing bait containing rabies vaccine by dropping it—by hand—from the air. Using a helicopter allowed us to distribute bait in harder-to-reach areas, such as forests, much more efficiently and quickly than if we’d done it on foot. We flew at low altitudes in a helicopter with no doors, which enabled us to drop bait every few seconds.
I had never been in a helicopter before, but I was thrilled. While baiting, we were able to see the Severn River, the Bay Bridge, and downtown Annapolis. It was an unforgettable experience and a great opportunity to participate in a unique public health intervention that required us to think outside the box and overcome obstacles.